Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Sci-Fi Channel Universe

So last night I watched the Sci-Fi Channel Monday night line-up:  Eureka, Warehouse 13 and a new show caled Alphas.  For those not in-the-know, Eureka is about the small town full of geniuses in Washingon State, where the sheriff has to deal with all kinds of screwball weirdness -- like antigravity machines accidentally getting turned on and causing the town bank to float away -- which was almost but not quite the plot last night.  And Warehouse 13 is about the giant warehouse full of bizarre mad science technology and magic items being collected and maintained by a government conspiracy.  These two shows have been crossing over for a couple of seasons now and have established themselves as being in the same universe.

Alphas is a new show about a group of "people born with incredible abilities based on their genetics" who have been organized into a group to track down and stop other "alphas" who are using their powers for selfish/evil reasons.  Think X-men without costumes or code names and with a Sci-Fi Channel TV show budget.  The show so far has been fairly serious - the alphas are generally tracking down individuals who are part of a terrorist network of other Alphas.  Think Brotherhood of Evil Mutants without costumes or code names and with a Sci-Fi Channel TV show budget.

Last night they ran an ad for next week's Alphas.  A recurring character from Warehouse 13 is going to be showing up on Alphas:  Dr. Vanessa Calder -- an agent of the Warehouse who also works for the CDC (and is played by Lindsay Wagner because that's awesome).  Meaning that all three of these shows are sharing the same universe. This is weirding me out mostly because the tone of Alphas is so different from the other two shows.  And yet it's pretty cool - it's like Giffen and DeMattias's Justice League International and Alan Moore's Swamp Thing being in the same universe back in the day.  And the three shows are all pretty good too - though Alphas seems to be the weakest and it takes itself a bit too seriously in my opinion.  So far it's a much better take on the "people with powers" genre than Heroes was, so it has that going for it.  Unfortunately most of the characters are kind of bland and some of the ones who aren't bland are kind of unlikeable.  We'll see if that changes over the season.

Anyway the shared universe idea is kind of cool regardless.  You've got super-science from Eureka mixing with the "artifact" magic/science/weirdness of Warehouse 13 and that's some neat stuff.  I personally don't have a problem with the X-men Alphas getting into the game too, though it will probably annoy people who value pseudo-realism in their "people with superpowers" stories.

And in my head I've decided that this is the same universe that the Stargate SG-1 stuff takes place in because, hey, why not?  In fact, if they decide to reboot the SG-1 franchise it would be kind of cool to have it take place on the same planet as Warehouse 13.  Not everything needs to be explained by Ancient Astronauts after all.

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